Calling in: Strategies for Cultivating Humility and Critical Thinking in Antiracism Education

Robin DiAngelo, Özlem Sensoy


As educators who teach antiracism education, we seek to interrupt relations of racial inequity by enabling students to identify, name, and challenge the norms, patterns, traditions, structures, and institutions that hold racism and White supremacy in place. In this article, we share three strategies that we have developed out of our own practice as white educators who work in university and community settings, and which have been effective in our antiracism education efforts: The first we call Silence Breakers. This strategy addresses common fears that keep participants – and white participants in particular – on the sidelines in race discussions and in doing so prevent them from engagement; The second are analogies we have developed to help students conceptualize antiracism as a lens of inquiry rather than as something they have to agree or disagree with; And the third strategy are vignettes which are in essence stories that students can relate to but that are not as politically charged as explicit discussions of racism can be. Because they put the student in the protagonist position, these vignettes can unsettle expectations, reduce tensions, and evoke curiosity.


teaching strategies; anti-racism education; student resistance

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